Theresa May has only a limited role in the way the US elections run but should approve the person to set and control the country’s elections
Donald Trump has criticised Hillary Clinton and Hillary Clinton allies for tying allegations of voter fraud to congressional elections on Tuesday – but his failure to bring such arguments to the forefront of the US election process could prove expensive.
In a column published on the day of the midterm elections, Trump said: “The new Democrats on their way to winning the House of Representatives for the first time in eight years, accusing the Republicans of stealing a win from them in 2016.
“Well, what do you expect? I should have won, I was the winner.”
On Thursday, the newly empowered Democratic House majority met and selected David Simas, a former Republican strategist who served as the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) chief strategist, as its first ever chief strategy officer.
Simas has created and vetted a film, Win the Future, which has screened throughout the US targeting Democrats for believing that they were denied their rightful share of seats in 2016 by the Russians and Vladimir Putin. Simas was chief of research and strategy for the RNC and helped oversee the committee’s operation at the national convention in 2016, where Melania Trump plagiarised a speech from Michelle Obama.
In an open letter to Simas released on the day of his Senate confirmation hearing, 67 of his colleagues on the Senate voting bloc wrote that “under your leadership at the RNC and your open deference to Vladimir Putin”, the Russian president “failed to provide evidence of his meddling” in the 2016 election.
Simas did not explicitly argue that the Mueller investigation was a witch hunt in congressional testimony, but Senate lawmakers – among them the Vermont independent Bernie Sanders, who has been a leading critic of Trump’s policies, voted against his confirmation.
Trump insists he didn’t collude with Russia but grudgingly admits ‘there is no collusion’ Read more
The truth about whether Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election is a subject that is beyond the scope of Mueller’s investigation. In his review of the latest report issued by Mueller’s team, Christopher Wray, the FBI director, wrote: “To date, we have determined no coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign.
“As such, this work will continue.”
Trump has claimed that the 2018 midterms are just as important as the 2016 election and has criticized Democrats for focusing too much on voter fraud.
“Democrats will steal big with fraud!” he tweeted on Wednesday. He also retweeted a photo of Simas watching a national security briefing with the hashtag #StopCrookedHillary and appeared to compare voter fraud to voting on same-sex marriage.
However, the case of Britain and Russia could help explain how Trump navigates a more complex international environment. A report from National Security Council staff published in October 2016 detailed two months’ worth of Russian interference in a foreign election.
“The Kremlin has extended the festering wound of mistrust over its interference in the US election – by preparing future foreign interference campaigns that it can plausibly portray as ginning up political chaos in the United States,” they wrote.
Despite this record, Simas believes he is qualified to defend the integrity of the electoral process. He said during his confirmation hearing: “We saw a confidence issue – both legally and politically – and I think we collectively worked towards securing our system of elections.
“I don’t think this is going to be a big issue in the next election cycle.”